The Random Thoughts of a Geek heading for Banbury
The Random Thoughts of a Geek heading for Banbury

Audiobooks Done Right

There are a large number of Audiobooks available for listening to on sites like the The Pirate Bay (μTorrent is my Torrent Client of choice), some of them are already in iTunes Audiobook format (.m4b not .m4a) while most of them are CD rips in MP3.

There are a number of advantages to iTunes & iPod Audiobook format when using an iPhone, iPod or iTunes to listen to Audiobooks:

  • Because audio books are most of the time quite large files, it’s unlikely that you listen them in one piece. Your iPod remembers the position where you stopped listening the last time. So when you continue listening to your audio book, maybe days later, you don’t have to waste time finding the right position to start. This even works, if you are listening to music or other audio books in the meantime. — even after resynchronising your iPod.
  • You can adjust the reading speed to your personal preferences. This seems not that important to me but it can be useful in certain situations.
  • There’s a special Audiobooks entry in the menu of your iPod.
  • Audiobooks can have chapter stops within them
  • Audiobooks are automatically skipped during shuffle.

While the remember location feature is available for books in the MP3 format, the iPod format (.m4b) provides you with a single file for your entire audiobook, while having the option of preserving chapters.


I am playing with AudioBook Builder (Torrent link to allow for more testing before purchase(Updating will break the SN))

I have been testing AudioBook Builder with Terry Pratchett books, This post shows the Discworld Novel “The Light Fantastic” being converted to a single m4b file:

The files as acquired from TPB

Starting up AudioBook Builder

Create a new Project

Setup meta-data for the audiobook, including art work (acquired from Wikipedia)

Drag files from Finder to the chapters window

Click the ‘Join’ button to make a continues file; with no bookmarks (Remember position fulfils my requirements) you may want chapters.

Click on Build Audiobook, and in a few moments the files will appear as a single book in iTunes

If you need to edit the MetaData you can right click on the file and edit it in iTunes. at this point you can now delete the source files, and the Project file.

For more information on what you can do with The Pirate Bay and other Torrent sites, have a look at this post of mine: Book 10 – Cancel Cable: How Internet Pirates Get Free Stuff

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